Colorado State has started the New Year with an historic experiment in cannabis policy. More than 37 shops licensed to sell marijuana to anyone aged 21 and above opened their doors to eager buyers on Wednesday. At one point, the demand was so great that some shops raised the price of an eighth of an ounce from $25 to $45 while other shops limited the quantity that customers could buy.
People travelled from all over the country to participate in Colorado’s historic day; some arrived as early as 2:00 am to be among the first to legally purchase cannabis. Sales, however, didn’t start till 8:00 am.
The activists who were involved in legalizing marijuana in November 2012 organized a ceremonial “first purchase” at exactly 8:00 am at the Denver store 3D Cannabis.
The person selected to be the first buyer was Sean Azzariti, an Iraq War veteran who bought the product at exactly 8:00 am from 3D Cannabis.
“It’s huge,” he said. “It hasn’t even sunk in how big this is yet.” Azzariti was chosen because of his service as a U.S. Marine between 2000 and 2006. Azzariti plans to use marijuana as a remedy for his PTSD.
Although recreational weed is being sold by more than 30 stores, there are about 136 applicants still waiting for their store license to be approved. The new law is expected to create many new businesses, giving a significant boost to Colorado’s local economy.
Washington is expected to be the next state to legalize marijuana with a host of other states keen in following Colorado’s footsteps. Both Colorado and Washington have voted to legalize marijuana but Colorado will become the first state to allow legal sales. However, not everyone is applauding this development. Anti-cannabis groups like Smart Approaches say that legalizing marijuana is the last thing people need right now. They fear that the plants legalization will lead to young people using harsher drugs.
Colorado was already allowing sales of medical marijuana which has been beneficial to both people with medical conditions and local business. As of today, Jan. 1st, cannabis can be sold to anyone of legal age in Colorado but buyers must use it on private property. Colorado residents are restricted to one ounce of marijuana per purchase while those from other states can only purchase up to a quarter of an ounce.
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